AfricaRice has donated a compact weather station to the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) for the recording and research in meteorology (weather forecasting).
CARI is the research arm of the Ministry of Agriculture in Suakoko, Bong County.
The equipment was installed in May and is intended to provide daily weather recordings of temperature, relative humidity, wind direction and speed and rainfall.
The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice), formerly known as the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA), is an African organization currently headquartered in Cotonou, Benin.
It is an agricultural research center that was constituted in 1971 by 11 West African countries. Presently the center counts 24 African member states and since 1986, AfricaRice has been one of the 15 specialized research centers of the CGIAR.
AfricaRice aims to contribute to poverty alleviation and food security in Africa through research for development.
The organization is currently working with the Ministry of Agriculture through the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Project (WAAPP).
CARI benefits from these interventions through the production and multiplication of improved rice varieties for Liberia.
One of the major tasks of AfricaRice is the development and introduction of new rice seed varieties that are suitable for African conditions.
In an interviewed with CARI team leader Mr. Aaron Marshall, he disclosed that Liberia is a member and works in collaboration with AfricaRice and as such the donation is part of the country’s benefit from AfricaRice.
“Liberia is a member of AfricaRice so it’s Liberia’s benefit from the center and we also have three scientists that are helping CARI,” Mr. Marshall said.
Meanwhile, in an interviewed with Mr. Marshall at CARI a few weeks ago he disclosed that 504 metric tons of seed rice was produced within two years.
“At CARI, there are several streams of research going on. We are researching different varieties of rice that would take only 70 to 90 days to germinate to yield more varieties of rice,” he disclosed.
He told the Daily Observer that following the deadly Ebola outbreak, a lot of work was done at CARI in that farmers in Lofa, Nimba and in other counties had produced more rice and other foodstuff.
It is not strange that the huge donation from AfricaRice will boost the production and the activities of CARI in terms of research and at the same time ensure that farmers and consumers benefit from their own grown food.